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Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
my mac mini isn't booting... stuck on the grey apple screen with spinning circle.

have ran the hardware test on the OSX DVD and i get the following error

----
**ERROR*CODE***ERROR*CODE**
2STF/8/3: ATA-100 ata-6 - Master
**ERROR*CODE***ERROR*CODE**
----

i assume this means that the HDD is knackered ?

 MBP C2D 2.4GHz  Mac Mini G4  AppleTV  iPhone 16GB, Mac OS X (10.5.3)
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
    Very likely to be the hard drive, though it can also reflect a fault in the drive controller which is integrated on the logic board.

    Have you had any indication of problems which could have been drive-related, recently?
  • Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
    not overly... but i use it as a media server (in headless) mode, so i am not sitting at it and using it as a primary mac.

    i rebooted it today because it was running "sluggish" and now i am stuck as above.

    also, the logic board part of the test has "passed" next to it.
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
    I'm not a great believer in the accuracy of the hardware test reports, but the fact the system booted at all and that (unless I mistake which system you're referring to) yours is a G4 1.5 mini, it would tend to indicate the drive controller is not at fault - the optical drive being on the same ATA device!

    Drives do fail without warning of course, so it may well be that yours has simply done that. Often though there is some symptom of impending doom from a faulty drive, even if just unusually long load times for apps or files, or the occasional hang.

    Can you access the drive in Disk utility from your install (or retail) MacOS disk? If so, what does it report when you try and run the repair disk task?
  • Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
    yeah it's the G4 1.5GHz.
    it boots from the DVD all ok.

    guess i'll have to crack it open and take a looksy at the HDD.
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
    As I say, it's worth seeing if you can prod it and get something meaningful via Disk Utility first - though likely a new drive will be required.
  • Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
    any suggestions on what to try with disk utility ? never had the need to use it before.
  • Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
    strangely... i just ran the hardware test again, and it passed on the HDD this time.
  • Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
    i just booted using the OSX installer this time.
    got to the first screen and then tried to choose "utilities" from the top menu.
    i just get the spinning beach-ball when trying to selecting anything.
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
    The variable reports on the hard drive are not entirely unusual with a drive that has problems, but it's not a good sign in general that you are having issues with booting to the install disk. That has potential to reflect a controller error that could be minor in nature and even be as simple as a poor connection on the drive carrier which has both drives mounted to it.

    Try booting to the OS installer again. If you can get past the language selection screen it means OSX (the very basic version on the installer) has loaded, and that's a good sign. There's no reason from that point that the Utilities menu wouldn't pull down as normal and disk utility run from there. If you can get that far, see if the internal drive is visible on the left of the disk utility app, and if so, select it (there may be two entries for it, either will do) then click the repair disk button.
  • Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
    i eventually got that far.

    i tried a check disk and a repair disk.
    both failed stating errors caused them to stop.

    i have removed the HDD now and will test it on my MBP, if the same errors appear then it will be replaced.
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
    It won't work in your MBP. That uses a SATA drive and the mini has an IDE - wrong interface. Plus the mini's drive has a PPC MacOS and that wouldn't boot the Intel laptop even if the drive fitted and was fully working!
  • Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
    no i mean i will connect it via a USB caddy and see what i can do with the drive.
  • AndyO Level 6 Level 6 (17,045 points)
    Ah right! OK, let us know what you find!
  • Chenks Level 5 Level 5 (7,420 points)
    HDD replaced... system running all fine again now.

    managed to get the data i wanted off the old HDD, but it was a chore.
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